As we long for warmer weather, the ground thawing, raking, planting, the freedom of less clothing and the emergence of all the neighbours from their winter hobbit holes, there is one detail that we choose to forget: the mess and mud that accompanies this transition from winter to spring.
No small matter, especially if you have children, animals, light coloured floors or attractive but impractical mats at your front door.
Now there are the obvious, tried and true solutions:
Leave a small bowl of water outside the door with a thick rag, small size. Dip each foot one by one in the water, then gently squeeze each foot with the absorbent cloth. Don't forget to wipe the underbelly. All of this can be done outside.
The key is two pair of outdoor playshoes. Just like at school, two pair of shoes are essential. The muddy shoes are taken off outside the door, and indoor shoes/slippers are put on inside the house. When you have time, put the muddy shoes in the laundry tub and rinse the soles and stand them up in the sink to dry. Next time out grab the second pair of outdoor shoes.
We are often the worst offenders…in a hurry, arms full of groceries etc. The best solution here--forget the aesthetics. Buy a couple of cotton (no rubber backing) mats that are not too large or heavy and easily washed. Scuff, stamp your feet on your outdoor mat, step in onto the indoor mat and leave the shoes there. Wash these mats as often as necessary.
Some chose to keep a mop or some such implement that can be dampened near the door to wipe up mud. Just remember--mud can have sand and small stones in it that can do damage to floors and grout.
Now, nothing here was revolutionary--just common sense and the practices of most households.
On reflection, the intent of my ramblings on mud has been camouflaged--it's really not about the 'how to physically cope with mud, but how to deal with it emotionally.
Seriously, how important is it that your entryway is pristine in these Spring months? As a virgo, which makes me borderline OCD around wiping, I spent years battling mud--wiping and rinsing multiple times a day. What a waste of time, and it certainly did not improve my mood.
After the severe winter we have had, I say rejoice in mud and get out your suntan cream!